Flaws in the new Leica M8 spark colorful debate.
The bottom line? Leica should have been aware of this problem before the camera shipped, as the selection of the thin IR cutoff filter was made as a compromise in the engineering phase for a reason. Is the discoloration a significant image-quality problem, and is Leica's solution acceptable? Potential Leica buyers will decide with their wallets. But the problem has definitely sullied the "first impression" of what might otherwise be a great camera. As a result, Leica should consider throwing in an IR cutoff filter for free whenever a lens is sent in to be digitally coded, or in the box with the newest coded lenses.
As for holding back damaging information in a claimed "impartial" test report? That's unethical when a product is already being sold and has certainly raised some credibility questions. Better to hold back the review for a short time and report on the manufacturer's response than to put out a positive review. In the past, we have been given pre-production samples to analyze, and give our first impressions of these in our "First Look" or "Hands On" reviews. Under those circumstances, we may give feedback to the manufacturer regarding problems or flaws and hope they rectify them by the time the product is released. Once a product ships or the manufacturer supplies us with a final production sample, we will test key features including (but not limited to) image quality, AF performance, speed, burst rate, and viewfinder magnification and accuracy and report our findings, whether positive or negative. After all, our loyalty is to our readers, not the manufacturer.
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